UEFA Nations League Portugal v Croatia Preview
Ronaldo and Portugal tipped for opening win and 100 Goal Record
2020-21 UEFA Nations League, Group A3 preview – Portugal v Croatia – Estadio do Dragao, Porto – September 5,2020 – 19:45hrs BST
Portugal v Croatia Prediction
- Portugal 2-0 Croatia: 7/1 (Bet365)
Bet365 odds subject to change and correct as of 03/09/2020.
Disclaimer: All tips are a challenge only and do not guarantee success.
Portugal v Croatia Preview
Portugal begin their defense of the Nations League with their opener against a powerful Croatia at Porto on Saturday night.
The Portuguese beat the Netherlands to win the inaugural edition of the competition last year to lift the title but the current year's competition will be a stiff test for the Selecao with world champions France and Sweden also thrown into the same group.
Portugal v Croatia Match Centre
Fernando Santos's men have had nervy moments in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, but thanks to back-to-back wins over Lithuania and Luxembourg they eventually booked their place in the showpiece tournament.
Ronaldo will cover the left flank as usual and will be complemented by the likes of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Andre Silva to complete the front four attacking combo.
Apart from Ronaldo, the focus will also be on Fernandes whose midfield exploits helped Manchester United attain a Top Four spot in the English Premier League.
Andre Silva is back in the fold after a successful spell at Eintracht Frankfurt where he collected 16 goals from his 37 appearances this season.
The Frankfurt forward could well be preferred to Joao Felix in the starting XI for Saturday night's clash. Raphaël Guerreiro with his 10 goals for Borussia Dortmund this season will be another player to watch out for.
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The hosts' defense will be spearheaded by Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo and Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo.
For Crotia Ballon D'Or winner Luka Modric and Barcelona mid-fielder Ivan Rakitic will not be available for the Portugal clash owing to illness.
Zlatko Dalic has called up Antonio Colak, Ante Budimir and Mile Skoric to replace the duo. The absence of these two key world-class mid-fielders automatically gives the hosts a huge edge in September 5th's opener.
Ivan Perisic of Bayern Munich will team up with Ante Rebic in the attack and it would come as no surprise if one of them were to come up on the scoreboard.
Tin Jedvaj who plays for German side Bayer Leverkusen will mind things at back alongside Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car.
Portugal v Croatia Head To Head
Portugal are yet to be beaten in last five encounters between the two teams.
Out of last 5 matches, Portugal won 4 and drew on one occasion with Croatia.
The most recent encounter between the two team was in June 2019. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Croats too have gone through their last 5 matches unbeaten and despite being the underdogs on Saturday, could pull off a surprise.
Portugal v Croatia selected Odds
Bet365 odds subject to change and were correct as of 03/09/2020.
Portugal to win: 5/6
Croatia to win: 16/5
Correct Score odds
Draw 1-1: 6/1
Portugal 2-0: 7/1 (predicted scoreline)
Portugal 2-1: 15/2
Croatia 1-0: 9/1
Croatia 2-1: 14/1
Portugal 3-0: 14/1
Draw 2-2: 16/1
Portugal 3-1: 16/1
Cristiano Ronaldo: 10/11
Andre Silva: 15/8
Bernardo Silva: 3/1
Ivan Perisic: 3/1
Ante Rebic: 10/3
Ante Budimir: 21/10
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